Bottle Shelves

After coming across this project on Instructables.com, using beer bottles as supports for shelving, I wanted to build one for myself. I love beer, so it wasn’t hard to collect a few empty bottles.

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The bottles provide support. The unit is held together by a system of turnbuckles attached to hooks and eyes. I cut shallow holes in the bottom of each shelf where the bottles should go in order to keep everything more or less lined up.

The author of the Instructables post used found wood for his shelving. I didn’t have large enough pieces on hand, so I bought (gasp!) pine shelving for this project. Even if you have found wood, this is probably not the cheapest way to build shelves. Buying a bunch of turnbuckles gets pricey, especially for a unit this size, but I love the industrial look they give to the piece.

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Pro Tip: Different brands of beer use different adhesives on their labels. Some fall right off with a little soaking. Others don’t want to give up the ghost without solvents, a steel brush and several tactical nukes. For pure ease of use, I found bottles from the the New Belgium Brewing Company to be the best hands down. The bottles pictured here all once contained Ranger IPA, a flavor which, after a check of their website, it seems they no longer brew. They now have something called Voodoo Ranger, which I haven’t tried. In any case, hopefully their labels are still as easy to remove as they were a couple of years ago.

I’ve built two of these shelves. The one shown here is the larger one, at about six feet long by three feet, three and a half inches tall. I’m currently saving up some olive oil bottles from Aldi for my next project. They hold up plenty of weight. Obviously, if someone were to start swinging a baseball bat or a lightsaber at them, they would break pretty easily. The last set of movers I hired were a little stressed out about moving them. The thing is, though, if a bottle breaks, it’s not that hard to drink yourself a replacement!